Safe Drive Stay Alive at HMYOI Polmont

On the 10th November, the Safe Drive Stay Alive team visited HMYOI Polmont. Safe Drive Stay Alive is a multi-agency partnership led by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and also involving NHS, Police Scotland and families of victims, aimed at educating young people aged 16-25 in road safety awareness. They spoke with over 70 young offenders throughout the day.

Fire Service Watch Manager Alan Faulds said: “Central Safe Drive has been showcasing its annual road safety show called Safe Drive Stay Alive for 6 years now.  The show is delivered to 4th year and above pupils from all the high schools within the Forth valley area. It comprises of a film depicting a typical road collision where young people are involved, including driver distraction, bad driving practices and peer pressure.  Interspersed within the film, real emergency service workers go on stage to explain their role in the aftermath of the accident.

“Post-accident footage is then followed up by real life family members of people who have had their lives dramatically changed by a road traffic collision.  Their testimonies are hard hitting and can be very emotive to the audience sharing their very serious and long lasting experiences of irresponsible driving.”

This is the first time this event has been shown in Polmont and was a resounding success. HMYOI Polmont will continue with the theme of National Road Safety week 17 – 25 November. During this period Polmont will be running more Road Traffic Collision workshops delivered by the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and facilitated by the Community Safety Unit.

The message of Safe Drive Stay Alive is hard hitting and very effective. Young offenders had the opportunity after to talk with cast members and many felt this was a worthwhile and interesting event. Feedback from the young men included “very educational, emotional and intense”.  “If I ever drive I will be wearing my seatbelt, sober and have David’s image in my head”. “Fantastic, very touching, made me more aware of the risks about driving and how careful you need to be”.  “It was educational and I was intrigued by the firemen and David’s story.  We don’t realise how lucky we are”.

FLM Kirsten Park who manages the Community Safety Unit commented “when it finished I was completely speechless and astounded at how powerful and engaging this presentation was.

“Our young men are either on the cusp of driving, involved in reckless driving behaviours, or for some serving a sentence for driving offenses. During the event itself you could have heard a pin drop, it totally captured their attention. If even just one young person modifies their driving skills on the back of what they have seen or heard and saves a life then that to me is a success”.